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Hobby Lobby provided emergency contraceptives before they opposed them

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The main drugs in question in the case brought before the Supreme Court are the emergency contraceptives Plan-B and Ella.
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NORMAN, Okla. - It is quite hard to take the claims by Hobby Lobby seriously.  The main drugs in question in the case brought before the Supreme Court are the emergency contraceptives Plan-B and Ella. One huge problem with this situation is that up until 2012, Hobby Lobby provided them as part of their insurance plan. Only when they realized that Obamacare was going to mandate this coverage did they suddenly become interested in not providing these drugs.

In their initial complaint to the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, Hobby Lobby stated, “After learning about the current HHS mandate controversy...Hobby Lobby discovered that the formulary for its prescription drug policy included two drugs - Plan B and Ella - that could cause an abortion” (pg. 15, pt. #55). This is a huge indictment upon the Green family and Hobby Lobby.

How can they be expected to be taken seriously when the precise drugs they want relief from providing, they provided in the past? What does it say about their commitment to the “unborn” that they had no clue that they have been for years providing the drugs which they assert “can cause abortions”?

The Catholic Church, which has a long history of opposing contraceptives and abortions, claims that the issue is one of deeply held religious beliefs. The Catholic Church has a long and consistent history of opposition. Hobby Lobby, not so much.

Of course, as most people know, the nonsense goes further. The overwhelming majority of mainstream doctors and medical organizations scoff at the pseudoscientific claims that these drugs cause abortions. Even the official journal of the Catholic Health Association, Health Progress, came to the conclusion that Plan-B does not cause abortions.

So here is the situation that has not been fully described by most of the media: Not only did Hobby Lobby provide the drugs they now oppose until they learned of the Obamacare mandate, but the claims they make about the drugs being abortifacients have no basis in reality.

So what is the real nature of this case brought forth by Hobby Lobby? Is it a political maneuver made out of disdain for the current administration? Is it the ego of a billionaire who wants to shine in the spotlight of the Supreme Court? Are the Greens really that unaware of both their business and of science?  

I will give them a bit of slack on the science issue because there are a large number of otherwise intelligent people who have decided that they are more intelligent than organizations such as the American Medical Association, Physicians for Reproductive Health, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and that these drugs do cause abortions. This reluctance to believe in science in the face of some religious claims is no stranger to America. Despite evolution being one of the most undisputed areas of science, only 60% of Americans believe in it.

The claim that is difficult to believe is that this is a deeply held religious belief. It is so deeply held that they had been providing these “abortifacients” unknowingly for years. There are two large issues one has to get past to even open up to believing that claim. First, is that they were opposed to these drugs all along but never thought to look into whether their insurance policy provided them. Second, is that within this Christian corporation, so dedicated to pro-life ideals, no one ever mentioned to them or made any of the Greens aware that these drugs were included under their health care plan. If they are so religious and against these drugs, one would think that, at some point, they would have known or checked.  

They may have, as they assert, not known it was part of their policy. That is fairly feasible. However, if that is true, that negates the sincerity of their belief. The Greens did not suddenly become enlightened to the claim that Plan-B and Ella might be causing abortions. Plan-B has been available for 15 years, approved by the FDA in 1999.  Ella, on the other hand was approved in 2010. They knew and likely, against medical consensus, believed that these drugs could cause abortions. Then they claim that collectively, as owners of their Christian enterprise, they vehemently opposed these drugs. All the while, they never thought to look into their insurance coverage and evaluate whether their policies covered these drugs. Only when a President, whom the Greens diametrically oppose, signed into law the Affordable Care Act (ACA), did they suddenly object.  

It was likely due to multiple factors; some mentioned above, that Hobby Lobby brought forth this suit. The one thing that is clear is that it is not due to deeply held religious convictions.  If the drugs were provided prior to the mandate, and the explanation is that they did not know, then their beliefs were not sincerely held.

They could possibly get away with saying that they recently came to conclude that these drugs were abortifacients, and as a result became opposed to providing them. However, they never have even suggested such a situation. They simply state that they were unaware that they provided the drugs. 

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About the Author

Brian Woodward

Brian Woodward is a native of Oklahoma and currently resides in Norman, Oklahoma. However, he... read more

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